As an early decision applicant, the process to college becomes extremely final. One application, one school, one acceptance. The next four years have suddenly been mapped out for you without an option to back out. Deciding to be an early decision applicant is no easy feat. You must love a school whole heartedly, for its flaws as well as its perks. Many college applicants, scared of such a finality, apply to many schools hoping and praying at least one will accept them. The moment I decided to apply early decision to Brown University, I knew I would do absolutely anything to make Brown love me as much as I loved it. However, when I opened my online portfolio only to see “deferred,” I was lost.What had I done wrong? I kept asking myself repeatedly. What had I done to make them like me just enough to string me along? What had kept them from saying, “CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve been accepted!” automatically? What was wrong with me?

Every since I was ten, college was my dream. It had always been my dream to end up like Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, and I was determined to do everything I could do to get into an Ivy league school (even if I didn’t know what that meant). As I started researching colleges my sophomore year, I couldn’t seem to get past the Brown University page. Brown had the “happiest students” and each student had impeccable style. Along with the amazing academic reputation and opportunities, Brown was put on a giant golden pedestal in my head (including flashing lights and jewels). Unfortunately, this meant that I was also incredibly recalcitrant about where I wanted to go. I should have looked at other colleges like Brown earlier, knowing my chances of getting in were slim. However, that didn’t stop me. My entire high school career was directed towards getting in to Brown and ONLY Brown.

The weeks leading up to the decision were a complete blur. I continued to fill out my other 15 college applications because I was too indecisive to narrow that number down. Most colleges I had applied to because they were simply amazing, but, to be honest, some colleges I had to applied to out of curiosity. As E.D. day approached, I began to question my choices of applying to these other colleges. I realized I had applied to many reach schools and many safety schools, but nothing in between. After I opened up my deferral notice, I was completely numb, and then I got angry. WHAT WAS THE DEAL? After some internal musings, I finally realized I hadn’t done anything wrong. Brown could have had multiple reasons for deferring me but getting into a college didn’t prove my self worth.

I soon became determined to diversify my college applications, and then applied to a few other schools (eventually totaling 15), including Wesleyan. As I scrolled through the Liberal Arts rankings, I would click on a school, think to myself “too conservative,” and move on. I was almost at a loss when I stumbled upon Wesleyan. As I continued to read about Wes, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something different about this school. I then looked at the Common App, noticed it didn’t have a supplement, and submitted my application within 15 minutes of reading about the school. Impulsive? Maybe. Worth it? Most definitely.

Wesleyan students constantly joke that the university is filled with Brown rejects. Looks like I just add to that stereotype, and I don’t mind at all. All the flaws I had chosen to overlook when applying to Brown didn’t exist at Wesleyan.* I honestly don’t know who I would be right now if I had been accepted at Brown, but I don’t think I would like to find out. College admissions have a way of working themselves out. If I had done my research earlier or just been less stubborn, I may have applied directly to Wesleyan, and I wouldn’t have had to deal with all the crap in between.

*Brown University is a highly accredited university, with an amazing student body and population. These opinions about Brown are solely my own and could potentially be skewed by the fact that I was rejected. But, whatever. Every person sees a college differently, and the flaws I saw could be a Brown’s students favorite part about the university. But, like, “I ain’t about that life.”

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